Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review of Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller


Hutch Carmody has always been the ladies’ man in Parable, Montana.  He has also grown up a lot since losing his father and he has even made peace with his half-bother even after his brother inherited half of what he thought he was entitled to alone.  Hutch was supposed to marry Brylee Parrish and changed his mind right after Brylee walked up the aisle.

Kendra Shepard is a divorcé who wants nothing but a devoted husband and lots of children to share her love with.  She has recently adopted four year old Madison who is a reminder of her late husband, Jeffrey Chamberlain’s infidelity. Prior to Jeffrey’s death, he called Kendra to his bedside and told her about an affair and that a child was born from that affair. The child’s mother gave her up for adoption and he had set funds aside for Kendra to find her and raise her as her own.  Kendra falls in love with Madison instantly but in her own little way, she longs for more, including the love of a good man.

Kendra might have feelings for Hutch because her love for him never died.  However, Kendra tells herself that Hutch is not a family man and she does everything to get him out of her mind. Hutch may have a lot of money but he knows that money cannot buy the love of a woman like Kendra.  But, this is Parable and stranger things have happened.


Big Sky Mountain takes place at least nine months after where Big Sky Country leaves off. It is the second installment of Linda Lael Miller’s Big Sky series. Linda did an amazing job introducing the characters and connecting them to the first book in the series. 

I generally am not the type to read books about cowboys or romance and I honestly did not know what to expect.  What I did find out is that the Big Sky series isn’t necessary a series of romance novels – they are stories of finding love.  I read Big Sky Country (and reviewed it) and feel in love with Parable again – its way of life and the people.   It kind of felt like the characters were living in simpler times and I enjoyed the tranquility of that experience. 

I also liked the author’s introduction of Boone and Tara. The dynamic of the two of them leaves the reader to wonder how those two could ever fall in love but as we have found out, stranger things have happened in Parable. The author has opened up their story for her next book in the series.  I have to admit that Boone’s story made me cry even though I was upset at him for giving away his children after his wife’s death.  I hope that the author is able to redeem his character in the next installment of the series.

There is also Walker and Casey so it is possible the next storyline may focus on them. Walker Parrish is Brylee’s bother who apparently has two children with Casey Elder, a famous singer. Casey is looking to move to Parable because she is looking for a quiet place to raise her children. 

The author introduces us to a host of other characters and of all of them, Opal is my favorite. She is like Aunt Bee from The Andy Griffith Show and Alice from the Brady Bunch all in one. She is the housekeeper/cook/voice of reason that we all need in our lives.

You can purchase Big Sky Mountain at many fine retailers, including  For more information on the author, go to

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Review of ONE BREATH AWAY by Heather Gudenkauf

“He has a gun. He has P.J. and he has a gun.” [Augie's phone call to her mother, Holly.]
I want to dive right into telling you about this book but simply telling you about it does not do it justice.  One Breath Away is an emotionally charged novel that you cannot put it down once you pick it up. Complexity aside, it is about a small town in the middle of a hostage situation and the story is told through the eyes of five different people.  Nevertheless, even small towns are newsworthy once in a while. The book’s characters are all conflicted by their pasts and their present and don’t know until the very end that they are the most unlikely of heroes. 

It is a cold and snowy March day when an unknown gunman takes a third grade classroom hostage. It is the day before Spring Break starts at the only school in town.  To make matters worse, Broken Branch, Iowa is suddenly cut off by snowstorm leaving a community shocked and in fear for the safety of their children.  As soon as the intruder enters school, the school is put on lockdown with no idea of the danger that awaits them. 

Holly Thwaite left Broken Branch eighteen years ago and promised herself she would never look back.  When injuries from a kitchen fire leave her recovering in an Arizona hospital, she makes a decision that she never expected to make when she sends her children to Broken Branch to be looked after by their grandfather, a man she never wanted in her children’s lives.  It is not until a phone call from her daughter, Augie, that her perception of her father and Broken Bridge start to change.

Will Thwaite never understood why his daughter, Holly, ran away all those years ago but now he is responsible for her children and he vows to get things right this time.  When he finds out about the hostage situation, he promises that he will not to fail Holly again and he will do anything in his power to bring his grandchildren, Augie and P.J. out of the school safely. In the process, he finds himself struggling to make it to their aid as he assists others with their own obstacles along the way. He finally makes it to the school and is arrested for taking action. After being put in a police car for his own good, Will starts to wonder if he fails when the phone rings and other events follow.

Thirteen-year-old Augie has spent most of her life protecting her brother, P.J. and she is determined to rescue him even if it means putting herself in harm’s away. Holly has two opportunities to escape the school but does not take them. She refuses to fail her little brother and starts to recall why they ended up in Broken Bridge in the first place.  It was the only choice left after she refused to be separated from her little brother.  After everything her family has been through, she refuses to allow things to get worse.

Evelyn Oliver is a third grade teacher ready to finish the school year off with retirement and excited to enjoy that time with her husband, Cal.  Now, she’d faced with a predicament where she must protect her kids even if it means putting her life on the line. She finds herself conflicted with how she feels and how her husband would want her to respond. She recollects on how she met Cal and the things he loves most about her.  She knows he would want her to stay put but she also knows that he knows her too well. Cal knows that Evelyn will protect her students even if it means losing her life and he loves her for that. Evelyn is not sure why the gunman is in her classroom and she tries to figure out if she knows him.  She wonders if he is connected to one of her students.   

Evelyn is correct about the connection between the gunman and one of her students but she does not see that connection until she is in the same room with police officer, Meg Barrett.  Meg wants to know who the intruder is and why he has taken a school hostage.  She thinks about her own hardships and feels there is no excuse for his person’s behavior.  When Meg finds out that the intruder is someone from her past, she risks her own life and disobeys orders to save the hostages.  In doing so, she finds herself face to face with the person she least expected to see.  Is it her estranged brother, someone she sent to jail, her ex-husband or someone else?  Moreover, why did he pick Evelyn’s third grade classroom?

The hostage situation in the school continues while the storm keeps Broken Branch cut off.  There is anxiety and frustration throughout the town.  Everyone is trying to take matters in their own hands but one wrong move can have serious consequences. 

One Breath Away is an emotionally charged and bone chilling novel.  What makes it so terrifying is that anyone can find themselves in the predicament that the five main characters find themselves into.  At any given moment, we can be one of them and if tested, who will you be?

·         Will you be the brave, loving and caring Mrs. Oliver? 
·         Or the powerless but yet strong Holly who would do anything for her children? 
·         How about Will who has vowed to get things right a second time around and will do anything to keep a promise?
·         Or 13 year old Augie who is wise beyond her years and would do anything for those she loves?
·         Or maybe, you will be Meg who will put her life on the line and disobey orders to protect the innocent?

Heather Gudenkauf keeps you hanging at the edge of your seat until the very end.  I kept thinking I knew who the gunman was but I was shocked to find out how completely off I was.  I was taken by surprise.  One Breath Away is an intense and well written novel.  You can purchase One Breath Away through many fine retailers, including

Heather Gudenkauf is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels The Weight of Silence and These Things Hidden.  She lives in Iowa with her family.  Visit her website,

I was not paid for this review.  Thank you to Meryl L. Moss Media for sending me a free copy for my review.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Review of Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

Sheriff Slade Barlow is the illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher.  For his entire life, Slade’s father did not acknowledge his existence.  His father’s attention went to his legitimate half bother, Hutch Carmody, while Slade grew up barely getting by.  The brothers spent most of their lives feuding and it is not until their father passes away that they realize that something has to give.

With John Carmody passes away, the bothers find that their father has equally divided his estate between his two sons.  Included in his estate is a very profitable ranch that Hutch does not intend to share with his brother.  Hutch feels that he is entitled to the entire estate because his father mentored him to take the ranks.  As a result, he is determined to take his brother’s share of the ranch away from him.  He makes Slade a huge monetary offer for his share of the ranch but Slade does not intend to sell to Hutch. 

Slade is tired of Hutch always having everything handed to him while he has had to work hard for everything he has gotten. In fact, Hutch has even had the attention of former prom queen Joslyn Kirk who left town years ago after her stepfather cheated everyone in town out of their hard earned savings.   Joslyn and her mother had to sneak out of town in the middle of the night and Joslyn has spent years trying to pay back the people that her stepfather cheated.  She is now back home and finds that the townspeople are not so forgiving.

Slade tries to convince Joslyn that she is not liable for the criminal acts of her stepfather. He tells her she has nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to be sorry for.  Further, Slade also finds himself questioning his own family’s problems.  He wonders why he wants to keep his share of the ranch. Is it a question of birthright or is he simply trying to get back at his brother?  The brothers' feud will lead to a showdown with the entire town watching and waiting for the outcome.

You can purchase Big Sky Country from the following retailers:, Barnes &Noble, Harlequin, IndieBound, and Powell’s.

You can find about author Linda Lael Miller at You can also find Ms. Miller on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Review: THE GOOD FATHER by Diane Chamberlain

Welcome to the May 4 stop on the BookTrib Book Tour of Diane Chamberlain’s thriller The Good Father. My post includes an excerpt and a review.


Her bangs were almost long enough to put behind her ears now, and I tried that but as soon as she hopped out of the van, her hair fell into her face again. Poor kid. She looked like an orphan nobody cared about. I prayed to God she didn't become one tonight.


Travis Brown was nineteen years old when his daughter, Bella, was born. While his friends were dating and enjoying their teenage and college years, Travis was changing diapers and working hard to raise his daughter – a choice he has never regretted.  Bella is Travis’ entire world and he has done everything in his power to keep her safe and fed.  However, before Bella’s fourth birthday, everything changes.

A fire in their home sends Travis and Bella’s lives into a downward spiral.  He loses his mother and his home in the fire and his job soon after.  He is given an opportunity in Raleigh that he is told will change his entire situation. He heads there with only a few essentials and his daughter in tow with a heavy heart and a hope for better days. Upon arrival he finds that there is no job but only an offer for him to participate in a criminal act.

Travis meets Erin, who has recently lost her own four year old daughter. Six months after losing her daughter, Carolyn, Erin leaves her husband to try to make sense of what happened to her.  Erin’s husband, Michael has channeled his grief into home improvement projects while Erin has not been able to enter her daughter’s room.  Both handle grief in their own way and as a result, they are distanced from each other.  Meeting Bella and Travis allows Erin an opportunity to start healing.

Robin is Bella’s mother, who after having a terrible pregnancy as a teenager due to her heart problems, gives her daughter up for adoption. After having open heart surgery, she finds out from her father that her baby was not adopted and that Travis was raising her.  She also finds out that her father agreed not to fight Travis if he stayed out Robin’s life forever.  Despite her early struggles, Robin is given a second chance at life.  She finds herself in Beaumont where she meets Dale, plans to marry him and is welcomed into his family. Dale is running for mayor and doesn’t know about her past. She hopes that her secret will remain as such but when her seventeen year old sister-in-law has a baby, Robin finds herself longing for the baby she gave up. 

Travis, Erin and Robin’s lives will intertwine. Each will find themselves tested in ways they never expected. These tests will not only bring them together and but they will also force them to fight together. 

My thoughts:

Once I started reading The Good Father, I could not put it down.  I wanted so desperately for Bella to be safe and despite Travis’ bad choice, I sympathized with him. I empathized with Erin and I enjoyed watching her grow from her experience.  As for Robin, she tugs at your heartstrings as she talks about how she ran away from her past only to find herself longing for what she left behind.

Being a Diane Chamberlain fan, I know that she has a beautiful way of creating strong relationships and situations that test human endurance and spirit.  Her characters always come out stronger and on top as a result of the trials that they face. Diane Chamberlain was able to join three lives together and if not for Travis leaving his home, their lives would not have connected as they beautifully and nearly tragically did.

About the Author (from the BookTrib website)
Diane Chamberlain is an award-winning author of 20 novels published in more than 11 languages. She writes complex stories about love, compassion and forgiveness.

Her books, which are often set in her home state of North Carolina, feature a combination of family drama, intrigue and suspense.

Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey. She also lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia before making North Carolina her home.

Diane received her master’s degree in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, she was a hospital social worker in both San Diego and Washington, D.C. She also was a psychotherapist in private practice in Alexandria, Virginia, working primarily with adolescents.

Diane’s background in psychology and her work in hospitals have given her a keen interest in understanding the way people tick, as well as the background necessary to create real, living, breathing characters.

Several years ago Diane was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which has changed the way she works—she sometimes types using voice recognition software. She feels fortunate that her arthritis is not more severe and that she is able to enjoy everyday activities as well as keep up with a busy travel schedule.

Diane lives with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her shelties, Keeper and Jet.

You can purchase The Good Father through Amazon and many other book retailers.  You can read an excerpt from the book at Diane Chamberlain’s website.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Live Chat with Diane Chamberlain - May 31, 2012

Diane Chamberlain

A beloved daughter. A devastating choice.
And now there’s no going back.
Four years ago, nineteen-year-old Travis Brown had to make a life changing decision. While his friends were out partying and meeting girls, Travis was at home raising his newborn daughter on his own – changing diapers and working to keep food on the table.  But he’s never regretted his decision. Bella is the light of his life – the reason behind every move he makes – and so far, she is fed.  Cared for.  Safe. 
But when Travis loses his construction job and his home, the security he’s worked so hard to create for Bella begins to crumble… 
Bestselling author of The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes, The Midwife’s Confession, and The Lies We Told, Diane Chamberlain, returns with her latest and most gripping novel to date, THE GOOD FATHER (Harlequin MIRA; April 24, 2012; $14.95 U.S./$17.95 CAN.), showing the great lengths a father will go to provide for his little girl.
Just when Travis is at a loss for solutions, a job in Raleigh opens up with the power to change their situation.  It has to.  But upon arriving in Raleigh, there is no job, only an offer to participate in a onetime criminal act that promises quick money and no repercussions. 
With nowhere else to turn, Travis must make another choice for his daughter’s sake.  Even if it means he might lose her. 
By Diane Chamberlain
MIRA; April 24, 2012
368 pages; $14.95 U.S./$17.95 CAN.
ISBN-13: 978-0-7783-1346-5

I am participating in Book Trib's blog tour. Look for my review on May 5, 2012.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trudeau Stress Less Product Line Review and Giveaway

Just in time for Arthritis Awareness Month (May 2012), the good people at Trudeau Corporation sent me products from their newest line of food preparation tools for review. These kitchen tools from the Stress Line product line are designed to reduce the strain on your hands and joints so it makes them ideal for those of us who struggle with arthritis and other limited hand conditions.

I received a complete set from the Trudeau Stress Less product line which included the six following products: 

1. Stress Less Safety Can Opener
2. Stress Less Garlic Press
3. Stress Less Easy Grind Pepper Mill
4. Stress Less Easy Grind Salt Mill
5. Stress Less Pizza Cutter
6. Stress Less Rotary Cheese Grater

The total retail value of the set is $143.00. In addition to my providing a review, the good people at Trudeau Corporation and J.M. Glass and Associates, Ltd. are giving away one complete set. READ MORE AND ENTER GIVEWAY.

Review of The Minefields by Steven C. Eisner‏

Welcome to stop #25 on The Minefields Blog Tour!!!  My stop involves an excerpt from the book and a review.

Excerpt from The Minefields: “I was working so hard to be his finest possible concertmaster, and I felt badly that I hadn’t as yet delivered his first violinist—the love of his life—to bid him farewell. The farewell business had always seemed like a lot of theatrics for the ‘big screen,’ the tearjerker ending with musical swells, sadness on steroids.”

Review: Sam Spiegel has it all – a great career, a beautiful wife and strong family connections. When his sick father, Harry, asks him to take over the family’s advertising business, Sam jumps at the chance.  However, despite being a loyal son and a man who appears to have it all, Sam is struggling to find his identity and there is a lot of tug of war involved in that struggle.

Harry is a Holocaust survivor who has remained entrenched in the old ways and for that reason, he and Sam don’t always see eye to eye on everything, including business.  Sam and his wife, Amy, leave New York and move to Philadelphia to run Harry’s advertising agency. The move and the running of the business cause problems between Amy and Sam.  Amy resents Sam’s decision to uproot their lives and move to Philadelphia.  Their marriage begins to take a back seat to the business leaving Sam wondering whether his marriage can be saved and whether it is even worth salvaging.  Sam flashes back to moments in this life that led him to make the decisions he made to be in the place he is now.

Sam’s is an intelligent character who is loyal to his family.  That loyalty makes him weak and defenseless when it comes to the people who he is loyal to. Sam’s loyalty goes back to the beginning of his career and something that happens to his brother, Mickey, whose role is vital factor in the storyline and Sam’s desire to understand his role in business and the complex relationships that he has.  It is evident that if not for what happens to Mickey, Sam would not have a desire to be successful nor would he struggle with his conscience.

My thoughts: The Minefields offers a complex look at a father and son relationship and the differences between two generations.  Sam and Harry are battling over the future of the family legacy.  Additionally, we see Sam taking a good look at his life and trying to figure what is next for him.  He has accomplished so much in his career but he is still doesn’t feel content.  He is also struggling with an unsatisfied marriage and trying to figure out where he should be and if what he has can be fixed.  If anything, Sam is struggling with the essence of humanity and what it is we all struggle with as we work to find ourselves and to build identities.

Steven C. Eisner did an amazing job looking that the reality of what many of us have experienced in our lives. The fact is that life drags all of us down.  We are always trying to good in our lives but things do not always go as we planned we see that in the character that Steven has created in Sam. Sam’s journey is personal and as he struggles to find himself, you can actually see realism in his character.  I think that is what makes this book so good – there is a part of Sam in all of us.

You can check out the next stop and even the previous stops in the blog tour by clicking HERE.

Purchase: You can purchase your copy of The Minefields at many fine retailers including Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

About the Author: “Before writing his novel and after learning the ropes at Doyle Dane Bernbach, New York, Steven C. Eisner created and led Eisner Communications, a Baltimore-based advertising agency, for more than two decades, creating hundreds of effective ad and PR campaigns for leading corporations and associations including Black & Decker, Marriot, McCormick Spices, PhRMA, US Airways, Lenox China, the Maryland Lottery, the Nature Conservancy, and the United Way. Eisner Communications won numerous industry awards including CLIOs, ADDYs, and EFFIEs, and the O’Toole for creative excellence across its entire client roster. The Minefields is Steven C. Eisner’s first novel.” From his website.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stopain Review

I was contacted to review Stopain Cold a topical analgesic for pain relief. Stopain is available in four formulas: Stopain Spray, Stopain Extra Strength Spray, Stopain Extra Strength Roll-on and Stopain Gel. All the formulas provide fast, temporary relief of pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, muscle aches and back pain. What it does is stop the pain and allows you to get moving again. Sounds simple, right?

The best thing about Stopain is that it goes on cold. If you have arthritis, your joints are constantly inflamed so using a cold product makes a sense. (If you have arthritis inflamed joints, you know what I am talking about.) Further, it is not sticky so it doesn’t stick to your clothes. It is also non-drip so you don’t have to worry about it dripping as you apply. Last, it has a menthol scent that you only smell when you find apply it and I don't know about you but that is long enough.

I received the received the convenient hands free application roll-on. I loved that I didn't have to get my hands messy. No dripping, no stinky smell, and it did not stick to my clothes. It definitely helped me with my back, neck, and should pain and muscle aches. I saw relief within a few minutes.

You can buy Stopain at most pharmacies and drug stores including Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, CVS and Walgreens. Further, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Stopain are donated to the Arthritis Foundation with a minimum contribution of $25,000.00

For more information about Stopain you can visit their website or Facebook page, where there will also be ongoing sweepstakes.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. Robin Leedy Associates sent me Stopain Cold Roll-on to try out. The opinions expressed belong entirely to me.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Review of The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose

Jac L’Etoile is haunted by her past and a tormented childhood.  She had promised herself that she would leave home and never come back.  However, when her brother, Robbie, goes missing, she is forced to return to Paris and confront her past.  With Bobbie missing, Jac becomes responsible for the family business, a perfume company. 

When Jac was a child, her father told stories of an ancestor of the L’Etoile family who had witnessed the discovery of an ancient perfume that is said to bring out memories of past lives.   After Robbie goes missing, Jac finds pieces of ancient pottery, and starts to wonder whether her father’s stories are in fact true.

There are two separate stories being told here and Jac is in the middle of this.  In addition for the search for her brother, the Tibetan Buddhists are fighting for religious freedom. Communist China has required all reincarnated Buddhas to register with government.  As Jac searches for her brother, the government is following her.  This is because Robbie had the information about the fragrance that allows the user to remember past lives. 

The Dalai Lama of Tibet is also part of this storyline.  This is because if he were to use the perfume and recall his past lives, the Chinese would lose their lost on Tibet.  The Chinese government isn’t the only one after the fragrance – the Chinese mafia is also after it.  The fragrance is the only way that Tibet can break free from China. The fragrance is the only hope that Jac has to bring her brother home and it is also offers a promise of freedom to the Tibetan people.

The Book of Lost Fragrances pulls together history, suspense and passion all in one place. The Book of Lost Fragrances will be available on March 13, 2012 and you can purchase through many fine retailers, including Amazon.

About the Author:

M.J. Rose is the international bestselling author of eleven novels: Lip Service, In Fidelity, Flesh Tones, Sheet Music, Lying In Bed, The Halo Effect, The Delilah Complex, The Venus Fix, The Reincarnationist, The Memorist, and The Hypnotist. The Book of Lost Fragrances will be published in March 2012. Rose is also the co-author with Angela Adair Hoy of How To Publish And Promote Online, and with Doug Clegg on Buzz Your Book.

Rose is a founding member and board member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: As well as the co-founder of and the popular website

Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek and New York Magazine. Rose has appeared on "The Today Show," Fox News, "The Jim Lehrer News Hour" and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USA Today, Stern, L'Official, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

M.J. Rose lives in Connecticut with Doug Scofield, a composer, and their very spoiled dog, Winka. To learn more about M.J. Rose and her work, visit her website at:

I was not paid for this review.  Thank you to Meryl L. Moss Media for sending me a free copy for my review. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Live Chat with MJ Rose - The Book of Lost Fragrances

I will providing a review of The Book of Lost Fragrances on March 10, as part of the blog tour for M.J. Rose's new book.  Below find the press release for a live chat with the author tomorrow at 3 p.m.

Many love the smell of books
–but did you ever think you could love the smell of a story?

Coming: Tuesday, March 6,  3:00pm ET
 M.J. Rose Live on BookTrib

International bestselling author and literary pioneer,  M.J. Rose is living up to her legend with her soon to be released novel, THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES (Atria Books; March 2012), which inspired the creation of an all new fragrance – the Scent of Soulmates – Âmes Soeurs by Joya.

Who’s Invited: Members of BookTrib
(If you aren’t a member sign-up today!)

Where:  BookTrib
(Just click on M.J.’s picture on the homepage and it will take you into the chat.)

Click here to RSVP today
Let us know in the email that you plan on attending.
10 members of the audience will be randomly selected to win
a copy of the book & a sample of the new fragrance.

The day of the event:
Login to your BookTrib account a few minutes before the chat. On the homepage, click on M.J.’s picture. This will take you into the chat. You will see M.J. live with a text box located on the right side of your screen. Just type in your questions or comments into the text box and enjoy the  chat!

About the Book

Rose’s deliciously sensual novel of paranormal suspense smoothly melds a perfume-scented quest to protect an ancient artifact with an ages-spanning romance…Rose (The Hypnotist) imbues her characters with rich internal lives in a complex plot that races to a satisfying finish.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Jac L’Etoile has always been haunted by the past, her memories infused with the exotic scents that she grew up surrounded by as the heir to a storied French perfume company. In order to flee the pain of those remembrances–and of her mother’s suicide–she moved to America. 

Now, fourteen years later she and her brother have inherited the company along with its financial problems. But when Robbie hints at an earth-shattering discovery in the family archives and then suddenly goes missing–leaving a dead body in his wake–Jac is plunged into a world she thought she’d left behind.

Back in Paris to investigate her brother’s disappearance, Jac becomes haunted by the legend the House of L’Etoile has been espousing since 1799. Is there a scent that can unlock the mystery of reincarnation – or is it just another dream-infused perfume?

THE BOOK OF LOST FRAGRANCES fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blog Tour: Lovesick by Spencer Seidel

The Mystery

LOVESICK is the story of a teenage love triangle gone wrong.  It involves a murder that rocks one town to its core after police discover a confused and startled teenager sitting in pool of blood belonging to his best friend.  The teenager is Paul Ducharme and he is holding the murder weapon.  He is also clutching his dead friend’s body.  He has no idea on how got there or any recollection of a crime taking place.  He just knows that he didn’t do it.

Dr. Lisa Boyers, a forensic pathologist, gets a call from Attorney Rudy Swaner who is representing Paul.  Rudy and Lisa are old friends so he called upon her for a favor.  Rudy is a part of Lisa’s past that she wanted put behind her but she somehow feels compelled to help.  Rudy asks that she interview Paul who claims he has no recollection of the events of the night his friend, Lee was murdered.

What Lisa finds is a toxic relationship between three teens – two best friends and a love interest. Wendy was the girl of Paul’s dreams but rather than ending up with him, she ended up with Lee in a relationship that was less than healthy.   Wendy is now missing and her boyfriend, Lee, is dead.  The suspect in both these crimes is Paul and the police think that they have an open and shut case. However, the police are missing key details and when Lisa investigates, she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous situation.

As media attention grows, Lisa is dragged into the spotlight.  As she works to prove Paul's innocence, she finds her dealing with an overbearing reporter who wants to expose her past, a past that she worked hard to put behind her. Unfortunately for Lisa, things are not as they seem and Lisa’s past will come back to haunt her whether she likes it or not.  

As Paul recants the events leading to the night he found Lee’s body, he and Lisa work together to unravel what happened that night.  Paul is only able to meet with Lisa for a short time every day so the mystery slowly unravels.  When Lisa is not meeting with Paul, she is struggling a past that is about to rear its ugly head out into the open. 

My Thoughts

If you are looking for a suspense filled mystery, LOVESICK is the book for you. Once you start reading, you won’t be able to put it down.  Spencer Seidel leaves you hanging on to the edge of your seat with a fasted paced and unpredictable mystery. There is a twist at the end that you won’t see coming but you will have to read the book to find out what that is. The clue I will give you is not to trust people who try too hard to be normal and blend in.  Those are often the ones you shouldn’t trust and if you sense that they are creepy, they probably are.

Source: Thank you Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. for sending me this book to review.

Read It: You can get your own copy HERE. You can only get it in Kindle form at this time. The paperback will be released in June. 

About the Author: Spencer Seidel’s love of reading and writing began in childhood after he read Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. His first novel is titled Dead of Wynter and was published in 2011.  Keep your eye out for Spencer Seidel – he will definitely be going places.

There is currently a Scavenger Blog Hunt to promote this new novel, Lovesick! The links will give you more information.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Are There Any Health Benefits When Using a Steam Mop?

If you have ever watched a late-night infomercial where someone was trying to sell a steam mop you may have heard them talking about all of the various benefits of using a steam mop versus a traditional mop and a bucket full of water or any of the million other modern cleaning gadgets. You may have even heard them mention that it is healthier than using other types of cleaners. But what are the health benefits of using a steam mop? Are there any?

There are actually some health benefits to cleaning with steam. When steam is hot enough it can kill dust mites, mold and other allergens. The main health benefit of using a steam mop however is that you will replace the health hazard of using other cleaners and detergents. Most cleaning products contain chemicals that can be irritating and even dangerous. Any product that requires you to use it in a well ventilated area or wear rubber gloves can’t possibly be safe. Many people have even developed allergies to some of the toxic chemicals and solvents in common cleaning products.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Stopain Review and Giveaway


I was recently contacted to review Stopain Cold a topical analgesic for pain relief. Stopain is available in four formulas: Stopain Spray, Stopain Extra Strength Spray, Stopain Extra Strength Roll-on and Stopain Gel. All the formulas provide fast, temporary relief of pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, muscle aches and back pain. What it does is stop the pain and allows you to get moving again. Sounds simple, right?

The best thing about Stopain is that it goes on cold. If you have arthritis, your joints are constantly inflamed so using a cold product makes a sense. (If you have arthritis inflamed joints, you know what I am talking about.) Further, it is not sticky so it doesn’t stick to your clothes. It is also non-drip so you don’t have to worry about it dripping as you apply. Last, it has a menthol scent that you only smell when you find apply it and I don’t know about you but that is long enough. 

Read More and Enter to Win. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Movie Review: Jack and Jill

I recently saw Adam Sandler’s latest movie, Jack and Jill. Rated PG, it stars Adam Sandler, Katie Holmes, and Al Pacino. I am a big Adam Sandler fan and I don’t miss a movie of his. I have watched his movies over and over and Funny People was one of my favorites. Other personal favorites include “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan,” and “I Know Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Jack and Jill, however, was okay but doesn’t top a list of favorites. Actually, I was expecting more but nevertheless it worked for me.

Adam Sandler plays twin siblings, Jack and Jill. Jack is Jewish, successful and sarcastic. He works as a television advertising executive. Jill is Jack’s twin sister from the Bronx. Jill is a washout, whiny, loud and dimwitted character who never shuts up and speaks loudly. I am not sure that Adam Sandler did a good job playing Jill. In fact, it was obvious that it was just Adam Sandler in drag.

In the move, Al Pacino is playing a character is throwing temper tantrums in public. I am not sure I was happy with seeing Al Pacino playing a desperate third rate version of himself. What it comes down to is that Al Pacino’s role is to promote – that being Dunkin Donuts. In addition to Katie Holmes, a number of other celebrities make appearances: Norm MacDonald, Dana Carvey, Regis Philbin, Nick Swardson, Tim Meadows, and David Spade.

Jack and Jill are twins that were born a few minutes apart and Jack hates spending time with Jill. Jill visits during the holidays and she drives Jack crazy. It is not until the end of the movie that Jack learns a valuable lesson about how much he loves Jill. The “tension” between the twins is further accelerated with Jack trying to land Al Pacino for a Dunkin Donuts commercial. That tension is somewhat related to Jill’s annoying nature but it is also attributed to Jack being a jerk. If not for his wife, Jack would be much worse. She is either telling Jack to behave or ignoring his actions.
As for, Al Pacino, he meets Jill at a Lakers’ game and instantly falls in love with her. He tries to pursue her in the strangest of ways but Jill won’t budge. She is not even interested in Al. Jack, on the other hand, is desperate to get Al Pacino for the Dunkin Donuts commercial. He even dresses up as his sister and goes on a romantic evening with Jack. That is where you see (if you haven’t already) that Jill is just Adam Sandler in drag.

I forgot to mention Felipe, Jack’s gardener. He also plays his own grandmother. (I am thinking a Hispanic Tyler Perry but low rate.) Felipe falls in love with Jill. So, Jill finds love and Jack finds conscience. What else did you expect?

I wish I could say something good about this movie but Adam Sandler’s done better. I was pretty disappointed.